Breaking into the game development industry has been a hot topic and a desirable career choice for quite some time now, with countless new recruits sharpening their skills every day to varying levels of success, and many training academies accepting applications year-round.
If you’re looking to find a game development team, hire game developers or even if you are a game dev for hire, you’ve probably asked yourself what makes a perfect game development team.
A game is like a difficult cake in a lot of ways. Beginning at the base, which in a game would be the coding and engine, every layer that is added on top adds to the complexity and quality of the cake, stacking up and rounding it out until it is finally ready to serve.
With the metaphor of a cake in mind, we all know how hard it is to overlook one bad flavor in the mix, and how much an improperly prepared layer can ruin the entire experience. Thus, in almost the exact same way, the slightest downfall of one particular part of a game can lead to an irreparable image for the rest of the project.
Unfortunately, this is quite a common phenomenon in the industry, and has left plenty of good, sound work unappreciated due to the failure of an entirely different part of the game development team structure.
With that said, it becomes even more clear just how important it is to invest into pre-production planning and building a competent team. After all, a game development team doesn't just need to get something done, it also needs to work together well with all other parts.
So what does one need to invest in when looking to hire a game development team, and what should any game dev for hire focus on training themselves in for a successful career? Let’s find out:
Key Components of a Game Development Team
Every game development company is built differently and invests into different sections of its team separately, but there are a few staples in the industry that are certain necessities every time. Not every member of a team needs to possess every skill necessary, but a wide and deeply invested team is the most important ingredient of all when it comes to building a successful game.
Read below to find a few examples of what employers looking to hire game developers should look out for, and the most common categories within game development team structure.
While most modern games either build upon or adapt an existing game engine, there still needs to be a significant amount of knowledgeable manpower present to ensure that your game fits well with the platform it is running upon. This can include preparing everything for playtesting, compiling the fragments provided by other divisions into something that actually resembles a finished product, and ensuring that everything can work together. This is an integral part to focus on when looking to hire game developers.
Neglecting to do so can result in a game that doesn’t run as well as it could, experiences issues upon release, and can even make the entire development process harder from the start.
3d Modelers cannot take ideas in writing and turn them into lifelike representations of fictional characters without references. Concept art has been a backbone of both animation and game development for as long as either industry has existed, giving one extra step of refinement and polishing before things move onto a level that can actually be implemented into the game.
Neglecting to invest into rounding out your models and characters with concept art can result in the modelling team having a much harder time and producing lower quality meshes, as well as a more inconsistent finished product than if the team were presented the opportunity to make sure that the theme of the game works together as one.
3D Modelling Developers
If you’ve ever wondered who takes the concept art or ideas and makes them into real-life-esque 3D objects, the answer is modelers. And lots of them. A game without models is a flat, lifeless folder of image files, and progressing any further than that is challenging if not impossible. Even 2D games have models to register the borders between objects, but nothing is more important to a 3D game than quality objects, especially when you start bringing in advanced lighting and cloth effects.
Without a modelling division, your team has no structure, and your game has no bones.
So you have models, a story, and an engine. But how do all those things come together and tell the tale that you’re looking to have them tell? All games - be they 2D or 3D – require a massive amount of level design, and it is a directly contributing factor to the end quality of your game. After all – the ‘levels’ form up the world that your players will be seeing, and what will there be for them to appreciate if the levels are hard to navigate and poorly thrown together?
Neglecting to ensure that your level design team is functioning well and has the needs of the player in mind can result in bugs and glitches at the very minimum, and more importantly overall player boredom and dissatisfaction.
Above we dubbed Level Design as the most important element when it comes to developing the lens that your players will be experiencing your game through, but there is just one more factor to that statement that needs adding. UI – or User Interface – includes the buttons, controls, and menus that your players see between and during their interactions with your game. It’s as important as it sounds to invest time not just into developing but also testing your UI for all elements of the game, as even the smallest errors can have the biggest negative impact later down the line.
A bad UI can leave your game looking cheap and underdeveloped, or even leave your players confused or turned off from trying your game out whatsoever.
What would a game be without audio? We’re not just talking sound effects and UI elements – music and ambience are also included in this category. It is a bit difficult to define how exactly to go about making music or deciding which music to use in your game, but there is no denying that it is an absolute necessity if you want to produce a successful game.
Music and audio have been significantly influential on players for about as long as games have had them – providing a memorable experience, a higher degree of realism, and a level of recognizability that only sound can achieve.
What do you need in a Game Development Team?
A small independent game company can range in size from one solo developer to a team of under ten, and the game development team size of a large multimedia company can number in the tens of thousands, but the most common game development team size – medium – consists of a couple hundred.
Not only do you require a strong leadership backbone to keep your team working well and cooperating with one another, but you should also ensure that you have invested into all possible aspects of your game’s development, and that your game development team size is fitted to your needs.
Looking to hire game developers isn’t always easy, however, so read on to see how you can find the perfect match for you:
How to Find a Game Development Team?
Having good standards in looking to hire a game development team is a great step in the right direction, but how does one go about actually doing it?
Unless you have an existing firm with thousands of employees - and then, even so - the most popular and efficient method of getting your game polished and having it done well is by using game development outsourcing services such as those provided by Pingle.
Looking to perfect your game development team structure can be even harder than it seems when trying to do it yourself, but with an outsourcing firm, it is simple, reliable, and provides excellent results.
When outsourcing to fill gaps and complete the holes in your game development team you ensure that the job gets done right the first time, and that you have the necessary experience on your side.
Armed with a roster of over 400 talented, well-trained game creators and with more than eighty high-profile projects under our belt, Pingle Studio is a one-stop shop for turning your ideas into a polished finished product.
Our previous satisfied customers include publishers such as Epic Games, EA Games, Square Enix, Disney, and many, many more.
We are a global game development partner that specializes in porting, testing, and developing games, as well as fleshing out game art, animation, and all forms of level design.
For a more in-depth guide to the services we can provide and the benefits of working with Pingle, drop us a line for full lists and references!